More than 600 new Australian species were discovered last year, government data has revealed.
According to the latest Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS), which was published by the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water on Monday, scientists named 626 new native species of flora and fauna in 2022.
They include Lamarckdromia beagle, a crab endemic to waters off the coast of Western Australia (WA) that covers itself in sponges scavenged from the seafloor to camouflage from predators.
Another, the Glyptapantelesandamookaensis, is a parasitic wasp from South Australia that injects its larvae inside a living caterpillar to gestate. When hatched, the wasps burst out of their hosts.
The latest edition of the ABRS was published one day after the Taxonomist Appreciation Day in celebration of the work scientists do to identify, classify and name new species.
"It's so exciting to think that we are discovering and naming about 2 new species every day. We've only discovered and named about one third of the species found in Australia," Tanya Plibersek, Minister for the Environment and Water, said in a statement. "We can't protect endangered or threatened species without knowing what they are and where they live. That helps us to look after them into the future." Some of the new species included in the report, including the tube-web spider, a mountain frog and a sub-species of dunnart, are already under threat of extinction due to invasive species, bushfires and climate change. According to the report, only 30 percent of all species on Earth have been documented by scientists.